Hundreds of flood warnings in place and rail disruption set to continue in wake of Storm Henk

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Watch: Storm Henk batters parts of UK

Serious disruption to travel is expected on Wednesday, with hundreds of flood warnings in place after Storm Henk battered parts of the UK.

Large parts of England and Wales saw strong winds and heavy rain, leading to flooding, travel disruption and power outages.

The strongest gust of wind recorded on land was 81mph (130km/h) at Exeter Airport in Devon.

More than 300 flood warnings were in place in England early on Wednesday.

A severe flood warning, meaning there is a danger to life, has been issued for Billing Aquadrome, a leisure park in Northampton, and surrounding business units.

Local media reported that hundreds were told to evacuate amid rising water levels from the River Nene.

The flood alert, issued by the government, warned the situation posed a danger to life, and that the water may be “deep and fast flowing”.

Another severe flood warning is in place for the River Ritec in Tenby, south-western Wales.

Residents of the Kiln Park caravan site near to Tenby have been told access to their vehicles may be limited, and there have been reports of raw sewage escaping into the water.

Some 12 other flood warnings are in place across Wales, as of Wednesday morning.

Flooding and power failures hit the UK’s rail network on Tuesday, with the impact expected to cause disruption into Wednesday morning.

Southern, Gatwick Express, Great Northern and Thameslink services are expected to face disruption until 10:00 GMT.

Routes in South West England, South Wales, North West and East Anglia are also expected to face some disruption.

Storm Henk has mostly moved east to parts of Scandinavia.

The poor weather downed trees and caused treacherous conditions. In Orpington, south-east London, a woman was taken to hospital after being struck by a falling tree. Her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA), which collates data from all energy providers, estimated that 38,000 customers were without power as of 19:00 GMT on Tuesday due to damage from the storm.

ENA spokesperson Ross Easton added that power had been restored to around 102,600 customers on Tuesday.

West Midlands Police praised a bystander who waded into flood water and rescued a three-year-old child and the driver, before securing the vehicle to a bridge in Hall Green, Birmingham

In Greenwich, south-east London, the storm also brought down a scaffolding panel from a building, blocking a road.

Serena Schellenberg, seen rowing in her back garden in Hellingly, East Sussex, said, while the area historically floods “in the past three years I have seen it getting worse and worse and something needs to be done.”

Henk was the eighth named storm in three months, with the current spell of wet and windy weather forecast to come to an end later this week as more settled – but chillier – weather moves in.

The storm was named much later than usual – only hours before the impact was due to be felt. This was down to its small size and because it was still developing early on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, 2023 was provisionally the second warmest year in the UK since records began, the Met Office said. The warmest year on record was 2022. Global temperatures are rising mainly because of human activity, leading to more intense heatwaves and rising sea-levels.

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